Friday, July 11, 2008
I'll Take My Last Ten Bucks Just As Far As It Will Go.
When I was a kid, growing up in Stawell, a bunch of friends and I used to put on shows. In the beginning my participation in the organizing of these shows was pretty minimal, but as the older kids left, younger kids stepped up. Bands would come up from Melbourne, play the show, and usually drive the three hours back to the city. We'd organize a hall, perhaps run a bus from Ararat, convince the local community health centre to give us some money for a PA. I'm not quite sure why we thought it was important. I guess we'd seen Nirvana and Hole filmclips and somehow got the impression that there was something more out there, that we could begin to create our own community - or at least our own sense of community - by bringing to the countryside bands that gave voice to the way we were feeling. And, for the most part, these bands did. And we pretty much behaved in the way the kids in those filmclips behaved, stagediving, moshing, crashing into each other. Sometimes I feel like that was pretty much all there was to it. I certainly don't ever recall ever thinking to myself, "Wow, things are pretty shit up here in Stawell, what with the rednecks and the lack of decent quality existential angst, but at least there are people in Melbourne who know how I feel. Things are ok after all." But I guess I must've internalized it, somehow. There are, even for me now, times when I'll be considering some new concept, and I can tell I'm viewing it through the lens I've been unable to remove since the age of 14, a lens that was shaped by hundreds of shitty shows and conversations about records and poorly photocopied zines. Maybe stagediving and moshing and crashing into each other is enough at that age. Maybe that's all you need. Maybe that's the kind of elementary dumbness that community is based on, and every show and conversation and zine just builds on that.